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Grace is self-motived love.
On Sunday evenings at my church, I have the wonderful privilege of preaching through the Pastoral Epistles (1 & 2 Timothy and Titus). I recently stumbled upon this incredible passage from one of Alexander Maclaren’s sermons on Titus 2, entitled, “The School of Grace.” This is sublime:
Grace is love that has no motive but itself. Grace is a self-motived love that is in full energetic exercise. Grace is a self-motived, ever-acting love that delights to impart. Grace is a self-motived, ever-acting, communicating love which bends in tenderness over and floods with gifts those that stand far beneath itself. Grace is a self-motived, ever-acting, communicating, and stooping love which brings in its hands the gift of forgiveness, and deals with those on whom it lavishes this tenderness, not according to their merits, but according to the pulsations of its own heart. And thus grace is the shorthand word for the self-motived, ever-acting, communicating, stooping, and pardoning mercy which has its very home and throne in the heart of God Himself.
You might say, it’s one-way.
Alexander Maclaren, II Timothy, Titus, Philemon & Hebrews (New York: Armstrong & Son, 1910), 142.